Freezing and thawing makes for some treacherous streets in West Philadelphia

- The bitter cold and the thaw in the week of January 7, followed by another quick freeze has presented all kinds of problems for the Philadelphia Water Department. They warned of troubles and people in the city are seeing problems.

The 5600 block of Chestnut has seen a steady flow of water in the middle of the street all day Sunday, January 14. It turned all things in the path of the water to ice and made driving a bit tricky for some.

Just a few blocks away on a smaller street, there are bigger problems.

“This is the area I have to dig out for my father to have a path for him to get to dialysis and to any other doctor appointments he has,” said Lillian Green, a Hazel Street resident.

Residents who park along the 5800 block of Hazel Street found their cars splattered, their doors frozen shut and their tires locked in a slick of ice from which breaking free was perilous.

“We’re gonna have to help dig ‘em out and push ‘em across the ice,” said Francine Lane.

That’s how Lane got out to church.

“So, I’m not coming back in here. If I park, I’m stuck and can’t get out,” said Mary Mason.

She can’t even walk out to her designated handicap space.

“It’s ridiculous,” Mason said.

It’s been a week of misery for Lillian Green who said she got the Water Department inspectors out last week when the water first flowed and froze.

“It appears to be coming from the fire hydrant, but it’s going all the way down the street,” Green said.

And, neighbors say the late week thawing actually made it worse.

“And, as the weather gets warmer the water keeps rising as it freezes at night, it gets higher,” Lane said. 

“So, I’m using all my salt and then I have to chisel everything out for him to get out,” Green explained.

“It’s just a mess. I can’t get any results. I mean, this is unacceptable,” Mason said.

The Water Department told FOX 29 the problem on Hazel Street may be fixed Sunday night, January 14. But, there’s no guarantee. The problem on Chestnut Street may be a water main leaking but not badly enough to shut the water off. The Water Department hopes to have it repaired Monday, January 15. 
 

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